Stress is your body's response to change. Your body reacts by releasing a hormone that causes your breathing and heart rate to speed up and causes your blood pressure to rise. The problems come when stress is constant, becoming chronic and your body remains in high gear for days or weeks at a time.
77% of American adults regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress, according to the American Psychological Association. It's important to learn how to recognize how stress affects you so that you can learn what to do when you encounter stressful situations. The physical health effects of stress can be especially dangerous for your heart.
Here are some warning signs that indicate you might have chronic stress:
You feel angry, afraid, anxious, depressed, moody, sad, helpless and out of control.
You have aches in your neck, jaw or head.
You get out of bed tired not feeling refreshed.
Your stomach aches.
You are experiencing weight gain or having difficulty losing weight.
You lack energy and feel sluggish throughout the day.
You are experiencing skin irritations.
Here are tips that can help lower stress:
Don't over commit by promising to do too many things. Stop saying yes to everyone and say yes to "me time."
Laughter is great medicine and the key to a healthy life. Do things that make you laugh out loud.
Keep learning new things. It will not only help stress but will keep your mind sharp and alert.
Engage with family and friends - its great for the soul, mind and body.
Exercise and physical activity relieves mental and physical tension.
Do things that bring you pleasure; hobbies, books, movies, friends, shopping, music, hiking, enjoy nature.
Meditation, prayer and deep breathing can be very calming.
Sleep! If you are unable to have 8 hours of sleep per night work on ways to fall and stay asleep. Make the bedroom comfortable and inviting. Eliminate noise and light. Exercise and physical activity will help you to relax and fall asleep more easily.
Organize your life. Clean out a closet, kitchen cabinet, the junk drawer, under the bathroom sink. Organization helps you feel more in control and feeling in control helps stress flee.
Stop pressuring yourself to do it all now. Everything can always wait. Set reasonable goals that can be accomplished.
Give yourself positive self talks. Telling yourself "you can" not only helps you stay more positive and focused, it also helps you to achieve what it is that you really want.
Give thanks and be grateful. Show your appreciation to your friends and family for the joy they bring into your life. Be kind to strangers, volunteer-help someone in need.
Remember that how you think can have a profound effect on your emotional and physical well-being. Each time you allow a negative thought about yourself, you body reacts as if it were in the throes of a tension-filled situation. If you see good things about yourself, you are more likely to feel good; the reverse is also true. Eliminate self-defeating thoughts and words such as "always," "never," "should," and "must."
The simple realization that you are in control of your life is the basis for stress management. Managing stress is all about taking charge of a situation: your emotions, time, thoughts and how you react and deal with problems. Start by identifying the source of stress in your life. Look at how you currently cope with stress then incorporate the above steps to begin to lower the stress in your life.
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Should a loved one need help, call us today 770-442-8664!
Easy Living Services, Inc.
Providing Home Care to Atlanta families since 1994